The first week of August, and the race to complete the delightfully named but completely fictitious “Loch Lomond, Stirling & the Trossachs” chapter of the GBG was in full flow.

Here, in its entirety (all of it) is what Wiki has to tell us about Gartmore;

Gartmore is a village in the Stirling council areaScotland. It is a village with a view of the Wallace Monument in Stirling, almost 25 miles away. Formerly in Perthshire, it is one mile from the A81 Glasgow to Aberfoyle road, three miles south of Aberfoyle. The Rob Roy Way walking route passes nearby. One of the villages more famous residents was Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham at Gartmore House.

This is Robert, first president of the Scottish National Party and inventor of the hipster beard.

If you want to learn more about Gartmore you’ll need to visit from Aberfoyle to admire the whitewashed cottages

and giant plant pots ordered in by locals in advance of the Retired Martin visit.

Another small hotel which had decided there was no trade at lunchtime midweek.

They’d kindly added the menu to the big board outside the door so a group of Septuagenarian Strollers (good football team name) waiting at 14:45 could agree and then disagree on their coffee and tea orders.

I know from my own parents that decisions on the next refreshment choice are the single biggest debate in the household of all gentlefolk, who I edged out in the race to the door as it creaked open at 14:58.

But then I got distracted by a wonderful display by the Gartmore Heritage Society,

which includes some artefacts from the first official game of cricket played in Scotland in 1489.

Cricket bats (and balls) have come on a bit since then.

Beer options in Scotland haven’t moved much; Schiehallion and “the one with the silly name” your cask options.

Somehow, despite loitering for half an hour to read about the Battle of Gartloaning I STILL beat the gentlefolk to the bar, where I was never ordering the Haggis Hunter, was I ?

It was tasty enough, but hardly cool and crisp (2.5),

but in the absence of a village museum it felt like Β£2.20 well spent to gain access to the wall display.

Sadly/happily, the efforts by locals to provide me with giant plant pots were for naught.


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